Story of the Leper: Mark 1:40-45
“40) And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41) Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42) Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43) And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, 44) and He *said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45) But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.” Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭40‬-‭45‬ ‭
By way of review; Mark was fixated on the miracles of Jesus. Matthew focused on the Old Testament prophesies He fulfilled. Luke covered more of His teachings. John looked at the evidence of His divine nature.
Mark chapter one closes with the story of Jesus healing a leper. He came before Jesus and bowed down beseeching Him; “If you are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus was both willing and able!
This may have been the same account recorded in Matthew 8:1-4. Both accounts record that Jesus reached out and touched him. It was the first time this man had been touched by another person from the day he was pronounced a leper. His scars were much deeper than his skin.
Mark adds the insight that Jesus was moved by compassion. Jesus cared about both his physical condition and his rejection and isolation. Though leprosy deadens sensitivity to physical pain, it compounds emotional pain because of social stigma. Jesus cared for him as a person.
The outer healing was instantaneous, the inner healing undoubtedly took some time. Jesus ministered on both levels. Many people carry emotional baggage. It is easier to hide and deny, but Jesus ministers on both levels. He knows both your outer condition and your inner battles… and He cares! He can be trusted with your heart pain. This brief story speaks volumes about Jesus.
Many wonder why Jesus warned him not to share his story until he was confirmed clean by the priest. This miracle was intended as a witness to the priest about the surpassing authority and power of Jesus Christ.
Think about it, His greatest critic was forced to declare His glory. This irony is astounding! It was equivalent to Jesus forcing the priest to concede publicly that Jesus just put him in “Check Mate.”
In the end, the former leper shared his story far and wide. The miracle was substantiated. It was undeniable. It was publicly confirmed by non other than the priest himself.
This elevated this miracle to a higher level of credibility than healing a fever or a common illness. Everyone was starting to take note of the authority and power of Jesus Christ.
We now have a story of a spiritual leader who had the authority and power to heal on the physical level. The limitations of the priest were exposed. By comparison to Jesus Christ, the priest had no power to heal. He abandoned people to their plight and misery in life and had no compassion. Rather than seeking Jesus for answers, jealously soon began to boil.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global